The Gators struggled to pull out a 20-14 overtime win over Florida Atlantic, which came into the game with a 2-8 record. The voters in both major college football polls were not impressed. After coming in at No. 8 in both polls last week, Florida fell to No. 9 in the Coaches’ Poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press Poll.
In the Coaches’ Poll, Florida was jumped by Baylor and Michigan State after their big wins over Oklahoma State and Ohio State, respectively. Oklahoma State fell behind the Gators are their loss. In the AP Poll, Baylor and Michigan State jumped Florida but Oklahoma State did not fall below Florida.
The Gators will face No. 14/14 Florida State on Saturday in the regular season finale. Florida will play in the SEC Championship the following week, and No. 2/2 Alabama looks like the most likely candidate to be the opponent. If Alabama loses on Saturday to Auburn and Ole Miss beats Mississippi State, the No. 19/19 Rebels would represent the SEC West in Atlanta.
Florida’s fall in the polls is not a big surprise after Saturday’s effort. The game was scoreless at halftime before the Gators jumped out to a 14-0 lead. After a 53-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Callaway made the lead two touchdowns, FAU went 75 yards on nine plays to cut the lead to 14-7. The Owls then forced Treon Harris to fumble and recovered the ball in the end zone to tie the game.
In overtime, Harris threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee but Austin Hardin’s extra point was blocked and the Florida lead was 20-14. The Owls drove inside the Florida 10-yard line. However, after a first down run and back-to-back incomplete, FAU was facing a 4th and goal at the 12-yard line. Quarterback Jaquez Johnson threw incomplete after Florida defensive back Brian Poole broke the pass up to end the game.